FPP Blog: Issue 40: Social Media - More Than Just Advertising

Blog Post

Date: 10 May 2018

Businesses are continually being encouraged to incorporate social media into their marketing. However, many misinterpret its purpose. Today, we will discuss how social media can be utilised for your pharmacy.

Social Media

Social media is no longer the new kid on the block nor is it going anywhere. It has changed the way people are connecting, communicating and collaborating.  Traditional methods of marketing to customers like advertising or direct mail have become expensive and less effective to some audiences.

That is why pharmacies should embrace social media to connect with their community. If done strategically, it builds strong relationships with both your customers and local community. It also allows your brand to reach a wider audience and build a loyal customer base. Reaching more people can result in an increase of foot traffic which will help the profitability of your business.

Main strategies to consider when using social media:

  • Developing relationships with customers and key players within your local community.
  • Engaging in two-way communication with customers.
  • Using content to display your expertise in the health industry.
  • Educate customers about relevant health issues within the community.
  • Exposure for your brand and pharmacy.

The two components

Often businesses create a social media page, profile or account without properly understanding the two components of social media.

They are Connecting + Content

Connecting

Connecting is all about creating relationships with customers and other members of your pharmacy’s local community. What is unique about social media is the opportunity to have two-way communication with customers. Rather than sticking a flyer in a letter box about the latest promotion, you can chat to customers on social media and discover how your pharmacy can help improve their lives.

Some of the way to connect on social media includes:

  • Following other local businesses including doctors, allied health clinics and the council.
  • Share, like or retweet other businesses’ and people’s content, especially those that align to your purpose e.g. recent medical research, content from other health professionals etc.
  • Promote other local businesses and support community programs. This will help identify your pharmacy as a true supporter of the local community.

Content

This component of social media is also extremely important. Content can be original posts, images, videos and articles created by your pharmacy. The key is to create content that is useful, relevant and valuable to your customers. It also must relate to your pharmacy and its services.

Furthermore, it’s crucial it is understood that content isn’t just advertising.

People will engage with profiles and pages that fulfil their own personal needs. So, without clever content a social media page can be seen more as a nuisance than valuable. Selling is a part of any marketing strategy however, with social media, connection comes first.   

As health experts within your local community, there is a wealth of information you could use to create content. Think of social media as a platform to help customers understand health issues within the local community. Be creative and ensure that every post, tweet or video aligns with your pharmacy’s values and message.

Some examples of content:

  • Updates, posts, images and videos about seasonal health topics for example: posting a status about ear infections from swimming pools in summer or flu vaccinations in winter.
  • Posts about the various professional services you offer at the pharmacy. For example, introducing your nurse appointments that are available on a Thursday and what this service can provide to a customer.
  • Photos about your staff with captions about how they can assist customers with their needs.
  • Updates, posts and videos about the local community events and photos of iconic spots in the area to demonstrate you’re a part of the community.
  • Content about various promotions and sales in store. For example, in a post discuss the benefits of a specific face moisturiser with a mention of its inclusion in an in-store promotion.

Remember to listen and select the right platform for your pharmacy

As stated above, social media is about conversations and building relationships. So, that’s why it’s vital you listen when using social media. Review statistics of what posts your customers engage with the most and take on any feedback. Listen to what customers have to say to improve your engagement and online presence.

Lastly, ensure you select the right platforms for your pharmacy. Every pharmacy’s demographic, services and customer base is different, therefore not every platform will suit your customers. Invest time in researching what platforms your customers engage with the most and start building a strategy from there. It’s better to focus on one or two platforms that reach your customers than trying to be everything to anyone.

To find out more about the different social media platforms and Guild Social Media Guidelines please visit: https://www.guild.org.au/resources/social-media.

Written by Sarah Rendell, Client Communications Manager, Peak Strategies Pty Ltd.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information and/or advice contained in these pages are free from error and/or omission. You should seek your own advice prior to acting on any information contained within these pages. No responsibility can be accepted by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia or its employees involved in the preparation of these pages for any claim which may arise from a person acting on information and/or advice contained herein.

Contact: Andria Aird
Phone: 08 9429 4100

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Page last updated 10 May 2018